Belmont Law Review


Airbnb and the short-term rental market have revolutionized the way that we travel and book accommodations, and now they are beginning to require cities to revolutionize their laws. This note argues that cities should adopt an ordinance that addresses health and safety, zoning, permitting, and taxation in an enforceable way by drawing on ideas already implemented in other cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, Nashville, and Portland. In support of this conclusion, this note begins in Section I by discussing the history of vacation rentals and the sharing economy as a whole, before discussing Airbnb more specifically. Section II then provides an overview of some existing problems such as zoning, registration of properties, and taxation that cities are facing with the rise of short-term rentals. This is followed by Section III, which analyzes some existing short-term rental ordinances and how cities are dealing with these specific problems. Section IV delves into some of the limited case law that involves this short-term rental market in order to demonstrate additional legal considerations. Then Section V will provide a Model Ordinance for the regulation of the short-term rental market that Section VI will further advocate for specifically.